My Mother Died And I Feel Nothing

I looked forward to my mom dying for years, and it finally happened.

my mother died and I feel nothing Arno Senoner via Unsplash / DSGNRL and Susannah Townshend via Canva

My mother died the other day.

I felt nothing. Maybe a little heaviness, but if I were to define the word heaviness, it would mean 'heavy with nothing.' No tears, not a one. And certainly no sadness. The relief that I thought would come didn't make a grand entrance, and even though I sat back and gave myself a chance to feel whatever emotions might be coming around the corner, the truth was and is ... I feel nothing.


You can't fake feeling nothing when your mother dies. This isn't an act one can put on to stave off tears, nor is it some kind of self-protective coping skill designed to help the newly bereaved. This is what one feels when you are the adult child of a unloving mother with severe narcissistic personality disorder, who freely assaulted her children verbally, sexually, mentally and emotionally, on a daily basis.

And while it may not have come with the force of a tsunami, the relief did come; I knew once and for all that the woman who spent most of her life trying to ruin mine was finally dead.

RELATED: My Own Abusive Mother Hated Me And Broke Me Down For My Entire Life


Her last words spoken to me were three years prior to her death.

"Fuck you, Ruby. Go to hell. Your love is worthless to me." 

When I was a child, I used to say that my mother's last words to me would probably be, "I hate you." Sixty years later, I got to watch the prophecy fulfill itself. After a lifetime of trying to please her, help her, love her and heal her, she made it clear that I was, indeed, worthless to her.

My mind dissolved upon hearing those words; I had seizures over the next few months, and even went blind for a day. Her words had finally done what she had always intended for them to do: destroy me completely. I walked away from her, her world, her torture, her insults and her utter disgust with me — her only daughter. I walked away to save my life.

There are no good memories to reminisce over. If she did something good for me, or if, rather, she allowed me to believe things were good and that I might be happy, it was because she was setting me up for the fall. She liked to give me a false sense of confidence so that at the right moment, she could take it all away. It was a pattern that I caught on to very early on. She was premeditated and calculated; her strikes were military in precision, and she always went for the kill. Everything was personal and there were no boundaries.


Most people love their mothers. I wanted to, very, very much. I tried but having a loving mother was apparently not my fate. It's OK. I survived. I did my best. But for people like me, survivors of unloving mothers — and there are millions just like me — we find very little sympathy as we are stigmatized by the all encompassing Mother Myth, which looms large and takes no pity on the abused.

mom and daughter running on the beach

Photo: Dubova via Shutterstock / Romanty_project via Canva

"Oh, but she's your mother..."

The Mother Myth, along with the Mother Taboo, is the idea that, because 'she's your mother,' she gets some sort of pass; her actions can never be judged as wrong, no matter what she does, because 'she's your mother.' So when abuse victims publicly express their feelings, or lack thereof, over the death of their unloving mother, there is no one there to tell them 'it's OK.' There is only this insistent guilt-giving and invalidation of the anguish the victim has experienced all of their lives. "But, she's your mother..." The Mother Myth supports the idea that because she gave you life, she could also set that life on fire, if she wanted to.


We live in an age where we are so pressured into being 'the bigger person.' We have to go high when they go low; we have to forgive and forget...hate will eat us alive and love will save the day. Superlatives and meme stock. Where's the reality? I wouldn't take abuse from a stranger, so why would I take it from my mother? Is being the bigger person about how submissive you can be in the face of riotous abuse? Sorry, not me. What was done to me was NOT OK.

I'm not really sure when we decided that we all need to be perfect people, but it sure does come up as a disservice at at time like this, when my mother just died. For me, to have to feel anything other than what I feel, at this point, would be a lie that I am not willing to live. My mother is dead, and while I'm not crying out 'ding dong the witch is dead' I am honest with myself. Her death symbolically leaves more air on this earth for me to breathe.

Only a few days before her death, I came to terms with my real feelings, and I wrote what I call a 'confession.'

RELATED: What It's Like To Be Raised By An Emotionally Abusive Mother


The confession stated the most freeing words I've ever spoken:

I hate you.
I will never forgive you.
I look forward to hearing of your death.

We really don't allow ourselves the truth, do we? We have bought into this lie that words like 'forgiveness' are these magic wands that wipe clean our hearts, and yet, no two people can define the word forgiveness the same way. Save forgiveness for spilled drinks and childhood spats between friends. Would you forgive the person who murdered your child, or raped your friend? And, if you are any kind of self-loving, healthy person ... why on earth would you forgive such a thing? 

We've been taught that we need to forgive so that we don't carry around the burden of someone else's memory, but does anyone really ever forgive and forget? Do you forgive the person who ruined your life, or at least attempted to at every given chance they got? And if this person is your mother, do they get a pass, simply because they gave you life? Is this mother forever forgiven, even if she intentionally tortures you?

Not in my book. Because I am a realist. I am living in the here and now, and if I'm to live as a healthy person, then I can't just keep pushing feelings under the rug so that the world around me can feel comfortable with my state of growth. I'm just so tired of having to be the bigger person so that the meme-educated world can accept me as I am.


RELATED: 5 Sad, Underlying Beliefs You May Have If You Were Raised By A Toxic Parent

The truth is that I hate my mother, I will never forgive her, and now that she really is dead, I can own the relief of knowing this.

The hate is not active; it doesn't eat me alive. And the lack of forgiveness doesn't give me cancer, either. I'm fine owning my reality. Being real frees me. I'm glad my mother no longer has to suffer herself, as it must have been agony for her to be that consumed with hatred for her own kids. Or, maybe not. Is the narcissist ever aware of their personality disorder?

We throw the word 'narcissist' around like we throw up memes. It's become a go-to insult, rather than a word that represents the extremely dangerous condition it is. My mother was a classic verbally abusive narcissist. We children of verbal abusers don't get the same kind of attention as those children who were physically beaten, but as so many of you know, the words that comes from the mouths of mothers are the words that can make or break your entire life.

Verbal abuse isn't restricted to words alone, however; it's about taking someone down emotionally, wrecking their self esteem, making them scared to live, instilling in them unending insecurities and for abusers like my mother, it's about the thrill of building a child up so that the knock down is all the more satisfying. My mother was only happy with me when she could spot the right moment to strike, and that right moment was always when I was most happiest. Then, she could pour her poison all over whatever success or victory I might have.


mother and daughter portrait from childhood

Photo: Arno Senoner via Unsplash / pikgura + Romanty_project via Canva

Do you need a list of my abuses in order to evaluate my experience according to what you feel is abusive enough, so that my complaints are valid? 

Am I just another disgruntled poor soul in your eyes, or are you like me? Because from what I've come to learn, I'm part of a community of friends who all feel conflicted about expressing their real feelings when it comes to the mothers who abused them. When you know, you know, as they say. And when I shared my 'confession' with friends who have been just as abused as I was, or even more so, they all felt a rush of power. Nobody condemned me. Hating someone isn't always the worst we can do; hate can be the key to ridding yourself of the malignancy that is abuse. Hate doesn't stay in the system, it's like a flame; it burns you clean, refines you, and then... you are free.

And lack of forgiveness isn't an eternal sentence of doom; it is about being real with yourself and your emotions. Forgiveness is a non-existent state, where the forgiver lies to themselves in order to please those around them by pretending to be godly, magical, or enlightened. I've got this one life; I just want to be honest with myself. Time heals, self love heals...forgiveness is BS.


RELATED: What It's Like Losing A Toxic Parent To An Untimely Death

I do not forgive this mother for her abuses.

  • Pretending to abandon me so that I was so distraught I thought I'd die.
  • Humiliating me sexually, in public.
  • Demeaning me in public, at the top of her lungs.
  • Making me lie to my father about her nonstop infidelities.
  • Terrifying me into silence as she abused my sibling.
  • Masturbating in front of my sibling and myself.
  • Smashing a large glass bottle on the tile floor and then throwing my cat on to the shards, while screaming for me to clean it up.
  • Leaving me to fend for myself when I was 14, which ended up with me moving in with the person who would rape and beat me.
  • Throwing over a table in a restaurant, while me, my father and sibling had to sit there in horror.
  • For making me deliver hate letters, in person, to her boyfriends.
  • Calling me fat and ugly for an entire lifetime.
  • Embarrassing me in front of every boyfriend I ever had.
  • Sabotaging my wedding day and not showing up.
  • Telling me that she hoped I got cancer, while I was pregnant with my daughter  —  a wish she got to see come true 4 years later.
  • Trying to legally remove my 3 year old daughter from me while I was suffering the ravages of chemotherapy.
  • Screaming out obscenities at my 5 year old daughter's birthday party, in front of all her friends and their parents, while hurling racial slurs at my then husband, a person of color.
  • Trying to convince my daughter that she hated me and felt shame over having me as a mom.
  • Telling me that I was a terrible artist, as she flipped through the pages of the published book that I had dedicated to her.
  • Continuously telling me that I was pitiful, hopeless and sick.
  • Threatening suicide in front of my 7 year old child.
  • And most of all, for perceiving me — a person of immense value — as a 'piece of shit,' which was, by the way, her favorite name for both me and my sibling.

And the only reason she never hit me, or beat me was because she was small and weak. She knew that words would do a much better job, and used her intellect as a weapon throughout my entire life. Her mission in life was to hurt me and keep me hurt.

RELATED: What It's Really Like To Love A Woman Who Lost Her Mother


The one thing she never took into consideration was the mystery of who I always was: someone who, despite the odds, always loved themselves.

I do not know how this happened, as I should be a completely broken person because of her...but...she never broke me. It seems that I was born unbreakable. Maybe I had a super great and loving mother in a previous life, and I carried that love with me into this one.

The one thing that people like me need is to know that we are SEEN. We are not alone. We are able to walk away. We are able to divorce ourselves from our abusers. And we are able to hate, to not forgive and to find relief in the death of these monsters. Confess your real feelings! Let them out!

While most abusers are victims of abuse themselves, in my world, if you don't break the chain and you continue to take out your aggression on your own children, then you don't deserve my compassion. Seek help or get the fuck out of the way.

To the adult children who have endured the punishing lives that come with mothers who cannot love, I see you. I don't ask anything of you, other than to know that, while your mother may not love you, I do. I see you. I know you. You are me, and I am you. And we are the survivors of narcissistic mothers, and trust me when I say this: we are unbreakable.


RELATED: The Aftermath Of Growing Up With An Emotionally Abusive Mother

Ruby Miranda interprets I Ching, Tarot, Runes, and Astrology. She gives private readings and has worked as an intuitive reader for over 20 years.